Introduction: How to Make a DC Poison Ivy: Carnivorous Plant" Purse
Have you ever thought about how to carry your belongings when you have a costume such as Poison Ivy's? Its not like you can hid you stuff somewhere in-between the leaves of her outfit.. Well, That's exactly what happened with us when we decided to go as a Batman themed cosplay group to the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. Many of our suits had no pockets or secret places to carry out belongings (wallets, keys, cellphones, etc).. So, i had to think of a creative way to have our stuff, but hide them discretely.
For Poison Ivy, She often doesn't have a very overly complicated costume. Well, I figured out would boost up her ensemble by giving her a carnivorous plant prop. I then realized that i could actually turn it into a purse to hold a few our of belongings! Let's get started.
- Metal plant pot
-Thick EVA foam mat
- thin EVA foam mat
-Moldable foam putty
- thick gauge wire
-thin gauge wire
-dremel with shaping bits
-2 bag clips
- 2 key rings
Step 1: Reference Pictures
Before I ever start ANY costume/props, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better. Look up:
1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc) (pic 1-3)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do. (pic 4-5)
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc. (pic 6)
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design. I know i wanted to make something that had 2 flower heads on it rather than one giant one. I wanted to avoid a "little shop of horrors" vibe (pic 7)
Step 2: Base + Skeleton
1. Grab your metal pot and use your paper to draw a circle from the rim and also the bottom.
2. Cut our a foam circle with your template from the thin EVA foam. (pic 1). Insert that foam circle into the bottom of the pot. This is so that when you place your things in the pot, they aren't clanging around. You can also use various other things like sponge or maybe fabric.
3.. With the other circle template you got from the rim of the pot, Draw and cut out a circle from your thick EVA foam. Then, using your dremel and shaping bit, dremel some ridges and grooves into it. This circle is supposed to be your "soil", so it shouldn't be smooth. (pic 2)
4.(optional) Flip your "soil" plate over and glue in a piece of rope. I thought i would be using this to help me get the soil out, but later realized that the flower stem was sturdy enough that i could just use that to pull off the lid. (pic 3)
5.take your thick wire and create your base, your stem(s), and the skeleton that your petals will attach to. I know i wanted 2 flowers so i took 1 long thick wired and twisted it all together to form all of it. Then, i took my thin wire and wrapped it around the thick wired just for extra support (pic 4)
6. Create a hole in the center of the "soil" foam circle, squeeze your wires through and then glue it in place. Dont worry if you can see the wire through the hole for now. Once you put foam around the stem, then you can glue little foam debris over the hole as cover up. (pic 5)
Step 3: Petals
1. Use your paper to create a template for your petals. I folded my paper as if i were creating a "paper snowflake". Cut out your petals and unfold, so that you have a symmetrical shape. I created 3 different sizes, but realized mid-build that i would actually only use 2. (pic 1)
2. Trace the petals on the thin foam and cut out. (pic 2)
3. Use your dremel and create some texture in the petals. If your foam has the diamond tread on the underneath, you can sand it off at this time. I personally chose the create a thicker "lip" around each petal. I then used a heat gun and heated the foam so that i could mold them to a more flower shape. (pic3)
4. once formed, glue the petals onto the metal wiring.
Step 4: Stems
1. For your stems, take your craft foam and glue/wrap up your wire. Make sure it covers all the way from the soil to the very base of the petals. All the wire should be covered at this time except for the wire back that the petals are glued onto.
2. Now take your moldable foam putty and cover the wire on the backside of the petals. You can even use some of this putty to fill the hole in the "soil"
Step 5: Flower Heads
For your flower heads, do the following:
1. Draw on your paper a letter D. Cut that shape out. That is your template now (pic 1)
2. Cut out 4 D's per head from your thinner foam. I beveled the angle of my cut around the curve of the D, so that when they are glued together, it will be a nicer seam (pic 2 + 3)
3. Use a heat gun and curve your foam D's. If you have a small ball or something round, it may help to shape it.
4.Glue your parts together along the curved side. Pic 4 shows how to start it. (pic 4)
5. from there, you should have these little empanada shapes. You will need 2 per head. (pic 5)
6. At this time, you may want to pain the inside of the half, because it may be more difficult to paint it once fully assembled. If you want, you can mod podge the inside or even plastidip it.. I chose to do neither, as it was going to be the inside of the mouth and didnt have to be that detail oriented. The colors are entirely up to you. (pic 6).
7. From there, you can take your dremel and shaping tool and create texture on the outside. I wanted to create a little lip on m shells. I also used this time to cut and angle the shapes a bit more so that i could determine how wide i wanted the mouth to open. This is the shaping/cutting stage (pic 7)
8. For teeth, i took hot glue and made little spikes with my glue gun. Once cool, you can use your scissors to shape them into points if you'd like. (pic 8+9)
9. Glue your teeth in place. You can put more glue on the ends and stick them inside. or you can just grab a tooth and lightly heat the end over a candle and then press them in (pic 10)
10. Glue your halves together so it forms like a fanged pac-man. (pic 11 + 12)
11. Then, use your glue gun to make strands on the surface. these will function as veins (pic 13 +14)
12. DO NOT GLUE the heads in place into the petals yet. It will be significantly harder to paint the flower if you do.
Step 6: Details: Leaves, Veins, and Vines
Now is the time to add all your details to your plant.
1. For leaves, i folded a piece of paper in half, drew out my design, and then unfolded so i had a symmetrical leaf. I went with a few different designs. I then then glued the leaves onto some thinner wire, and covered the wire with some moldable foam putty. If they are small leaves, you can glue them in. IF they are big leaves, i suggest NOT gluing them in yet, as the plant will be more difficult to paint when fully assembled.
2. For the vines, I took my thinner EVA foam and used scissors to cut on a some long strips. I took a dremel to the vines to add a little bit of texture.
3. I made sure to add some veins to the stem of the flower. There is no right or wrong way to do this, as it's a fictional plant.
Step 7: Sealing, Priming, and Painting
1. So now it is time to paint this carnivorous flower, but first you have to seal it. Foam is really absorbent of paint, so you want to seal it with either some mod podge or plastidip.
2. Since i had so many different shades of foam, i wanted to start with a base color. I knew i wanted to make the flower bright, so i went with a base color of white. IF you want a dark flower, then you can use black as the base color. (pic 1 + 2)
3. I then began with putting a base color of green around the leaves and stem.(pic 3)
4. Then, i went with a base of yellow for the pets. (pic 4)
5. I then started adding more colors and using a lot of dry brushing technique to make it more realistic. Make sure you look at some real flowers to get some ideas of your color pattern. I wanted something bright and contrasting to Poison Ivy's all-green suit. So that's why i chose to paint a brighter colored plant. Seal it with some clear spray once finished (pic 5+6)
6. Once your plant is fully painted, you can assemble it all together. Glue in your plant heads and all your leaves now.
7. For the last part, i wrapped the foam vines around a tube and heated them so they would have some curling. I think the curling gives the plant more personality. (pic 7)
8. My metal pot had a little chalk area, so i made up a scientific plant name and painted it on.
Step 8: Plant Strap
At this time, you can choose to either hod the pot the entire time. We wanted to make a purse so that the cosplayer's hands were free.
1. I bought some fake sturdy plastic vines at the local hobby store and weaves them together to form a strap. The face vines are mostly plastic and wire, so they bend as well. (pic 1)
2. I took some wire and stringed it through some black plastic bag clips. I then connected the wire to each end of the vine (pic 2)
3. I used a drill to put in 2 holes on the side of the pot and attached 2 key rings on either side. You can now clip your vine strap in place.
Step 9: Finished
Your carnivorous plant should be completed at this time! You can put smaller things in there such as your keys, cellphone, lipbalm, etc. Just remember that you cant put a ton of weight in it or you risk damaging your prop.
I also suggest you figuring out how you want to carry/ pose with your plant. You can hold the plant in your hands, but i think the best way is to just have the plant sit against your hip as you supermodel pose with it. If one of your foam vines are long enough, you can have it wrap around someone for an interaction pose.
Make sure you find some Batman cosplays to pose with and enjoy!
If you would like a custom made carnivorous plant made for you, please feel free to reach out to me at Spicypandacreations@gmail.com for pricing.
Our suits can be found at 9:07 in the music video
Other costumes/ Props featured within the tutorial:
Zatanna: Coming Soon
Gotham Swat: Coming Soon
Participated in the